Sunday, 24 June 2018

Details Of How Buhari,Tinubu Saved APC's Convention

The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday picked majority of its national officers without rancour during its convention in Abuja.

The intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari and high-wire consensus building by some governors and key party leaders, among them Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, averted what could have been a crisis over the filling of the offices.

It was learnt that they were able to realign forces on over 40 out of the 60 National Working Committee (NWC) seats. Election into the remaining offices began at 5pm. It was ongoing at press time last night.

The governors met far into the night on Friday and agreed substantially on the positions. Buhari and Tinubu were aware of what was going on.

“Everybody sued for the unity of the party and agreed that sacrifice should be made by all in the interest of the party “, a governor told The Nation yesterday at the convention ground.

He said the unanimity of purpose in the party informed the decision of former presidential liaison officer Kashim Imam, who was backed by Tinubu, and Waziri Bulama, an architect, said to be the favourite of some members of  the President’s camp, to step down for the National Secretary, Mai Bala Buni.

Former Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole and 19 others had before the convention started,  emerged unopposed as members of the new NWC.

As the convention progressed, many aspirants announced their withdrawal, leading to the declaration of more candidates as unopposed

Some of those returned unopposed are  Buni; former Ekiti State Governor Niyi Adebayo (Deputy National Chairman);  Babatunde Ogala (National Legal Adviser); Pastor Bankole Oluwajana (National Vice Chairman, South- West); Ibrahim Masari (National Welfare Secretary); Jock Alamba (Deputy National Welfare Secretary); Tunde Bello (National Financial Secretary); National Vice-Chairman, North-Central and others.

Imam stole the show when he led the way in stepping down for Mai Mala Buni.

His action prompted the withdrawal of Bulama and another aspirant, Abdulrahman Terab, from the race.

Also, the incumbent National Vice Chairman, Chief Pius Akinyelure, withdrew for Pastor Olajuwon.

Another governor, who spoke in confidence yesterday,  said: “Following intervention by the President, some of our leaders and governors, we were able to shift grounds on some offices. But those we disagreed on, we left their fate to the delegates to decide.

“If you look at the scenario at the convention, there was much consensus building in the South-West, North-East, North-Central and even North-West on some key positions. The office of the National Secretary was a tough one to take a position on but the governors had their way because the North-East is too strategic in 2019 to allow political tension or division.

“We tried as much as possible not to revert to our fault lines. We need reconciliation, we need to reunite all and we want to use this convention as a template.”

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